Gyms, bars reopen as Toronto enters Stage 3 today

Jul 31 2020, 6:54 am

More businesses are opening their doors in Toronto, as the city is now officially in Stage 3 of Ontario’s economic reopening plan.

Announced on Wednesday by the province, the city entered into the new phase on Friday, July 31, at 12:01 am.

As of Friday, groups of 50 can congregate indoors and 100 can meet outdoors.

Additionally, the city’s more than 800 playgrounds and play structures are open now. In Toronto, a number of City facilities and amenities will reopen in Stage 3 including additional recreational programs and services at community centres, which will resume in multiple phases beginning mid-August.

Beginning mid-August, Toronto Public Library will also begin to gradually resume adapted in-branch services in multiple phases, with relevant health and safety measures in place.

According to the City of Toronto, this is the list of businesses and facilities that can reopen
Under the Province’s Stage 3 order:

• Restaurants and bars are permitted to offer indoor dine-in service, with a number of requirements in place including separating tables by at least two metres or using plexiglass or other impermeable barriers to separate customers at different tables; prohibiting dancing, singing or musical performances except by performers under contract to the establishment; patrons must be seated at all times except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or while placing or picking up an order or paying for an order; maintaining customer logs to be used by Toronto Public Health for contact tracing purposes.

• Some recreational programs and services, including fitness, sports, and art and music classes.

• Sports facilities, subject to conditions that include team sports only be played without physical contact or modified to avoid physical contact and organized team sport leagues are limited to 50 players. The number of spectators attending sports facilities are limited to 50 spectators at an indoor facility and 100 spectators at an outdoor facility.

• Recreational attractions and businesses (i.e. museums, zoos, arcades, bowling alleys, pool halls, some karaoke).

• Live shows, performing arts and movie theatres subject to a limit of no more than 50 people at an indoor cinema or performance venue and no more than 100 people at an outdoor cinema or performance venue. There is no attendance limit on drive-in cinemas.

• Personal service settings can now perform services tending to the face (i.e. facials, beard trims, eyebrow grooming, eyelash extensions, etc.), subject to patrons continuing to wear a mask or face covering unless receiving services to the chin, mouth, or nose area

• Tours and guide services subject to capacity limits of no more than 50 people for indoor tours and no more than 100 people for outdoor tours.

“In Stage 3, more restrictions will be loosened and nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen,” the province said in its description of Stage 3, “as long as they follow the public health advice and workplace safety guidance necessary to keep everyone safe.”

The decision to reopen was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health and is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.

There are many types of businesses that are not allowed to reopen however as they have been determined to be “high risk” by public health officials. Those businesses include the following:

  •  Nightclubs, except when serving patrons food or beverages and carrying on business in the same manner as a restaurant or bar
  • Amusement parks and water parks
  •  Buffet-style food services
  •  Private karaoke rooms, unless installed with a plexiglass or other impermeable barrier to separate the performer from every other person in the enclosed space
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments

Certain high-risk activities are also not permitted as per the City of Toronto, and these are:
• Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
• Overnight stays at camps for children
• Team sports may only be played if the sport does not allow for physical contact or if the sport is played with modified rules to avoid physical contact

Council also approved the creation of a temporary bylaw mandating that face masks or coverings must be worn in the common areas of apartment and condominium buildings. This comes into effect on August 5.

With files from Clarrie Feinstein.

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